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Published on June 25, 2017


ONE Hundred Barbadian children are now more acquainted with our marine environment thanks to Dive Fest Barbados’ Water Awareness Programme.

The programme, conducted at Carlisle Bay over four Saturdays, saw the participants not only learning to swim, snorkel, kayak and participate in other fun water activities, but also learning about the importance of keeping our beaches clean and the impact this can have on our marine life.

BHTA’s Environmental Committee Chairman Andre Miller, explained that the programme was a huge success: “The children had a fantastic time. We have seen tremendous changes in them as some of them were afraid to put their feet in the water and now they are kayaking and snorkeling.

“Having our next generation comfortable in the water is so important. We need to teach them not only how to swim and survive in the water but how to appreciate the ocean and how important it is to protect it.

“Giving these children the opportunity to learn about our ocean, to learn how to swim and to appreciate it, is a beautiful gift and is actually our favourite part of the entire festival. The kids have all told us that they want to see what lies below - that they want to dive and defend our ocean and we  need to do everything in our power to encourage them.”

BHTA CEO, Rudy Grant, who attended one of the sessions to observe the children going through the paces said, “This aspect of Dive Fest Barbados is an opportunity for the children to learn not only how to swim, but to also teach them the necessary measures to protect our marine life. We believe that both aspects are equally important and go hand in hand in preserving our environment for years to come.”

BTMI’s Manager – Sports Tourism, Devon Chase, also on hand at the session, called Dive Fest Barbados and the Water Awareness Programme a fantastic initiative. He said, “For a long time we have been saying that our dive product here is one of the best kept secrets and we certainly think that by having the festival it really showcases our dive offering and certainly adds an element of diversity to the current offering.”

The inaugural Dive Fest, organised by the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) and the Barbados Dive Operators Association, in partnership with the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) and the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) ran from Wednesday, July 5 to Sunday, July 9, 2017 and included a Snorkel Day, Conversation Day and Beach Clean-up.


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